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THE SEVENTH FLOOR > What is your personal rating system?

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message 1: by Samuel , Director (last edited Feb 12, 2014 01:53PM) (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Exactly what it says on the tin. Some of us have much different interpretations of the Goodreads star system (and some of us want it improved, half stars would be nice the next time the site updates). What is your rank for what is a good spy thriller, a average spy thriller and a terrible spy thriller?

For example, my ranking system is as such:
5 stars-Masterpiece
4 stars- solid but missing something special.
3 stars- boring
2 stars- bad
1 star- avoid like the plague.


message 2: by Nick (new)

Nick Brett | 141 comments Kind of agree with the 1 and 2 star, but I tend to go 3 - not bad, 4 very good, 5 brilliant.

I think that people have their own scoring system which is slightly at odds with the guidance provided by both Amazon and Goodreads. Have to admit I have recently changed mine to align more with them but I think there is an issue with varying scales.


message 3: by Checkman (last edited Feb 12, 2014 07:28AM) (new)

Checkman | 10 comments A half star option would be welcomed. Often I read books that need that something extra. Especially the ones that are around a two or three but have just a little bit more. For example "American Gunfight" isn't a great book, but it rated a bit more than the two stars that I gave it. Yes it was a disappointment, but parts of it elevated it to 2.5 stars.


message 4: by Jacob (last edited Feb 15, 2014 08:49AM) (new)

Jacob Peled (peled) Samuel wrote: "Exactly what it says on the tin. Some of us have much different interpretations of the Goodreads star system (and some of us want it improved, half stars would be nice the next time the site update..."

5 -> You just want to go home from work, to get back into the book.
4-> Realy enjoyed the book. Read it full, would like more of the kind.
3-> was OK, But I skipped too many pages.
2-> A very bad book. after 20% , I started flipping through pages, just to get a general Idea regarding the END.
1-> read 10% and throw it away.

I have a 6 Star for me. For every 10 books with 5. It's a book, that I keep thinking about for weeks.


message 5: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments 1 star- I've never given a one star rating because when I choose books to read I am already interested in the subject.

2 stars- I've only given one two star rating because a book sucked so bad I couldn't finish it. So that's a two star, interesting enough to pick up but, couldn't finish it.

3 stars- Finished the book, had an experience but not a memorable one.

4 stars- entertaining, I'm glad I read it and want to talk about it with others.

5 stars- This book plucked an emotional chord. It hit my trifecta, it made my laugh, cry, and think. I writing and personally thanking the author.

This being said, as an Author I won't give anything less than three stars, I will just choose not to rate it and drop the Author a personal note telling them why. These writers are very much like me and I would not damage their exploits while at the same time, I refuse to lie to them.


message 6: by Hock (new)

Hock Tjoa (hockgtjoa) Nick wrote: "Kind of agree with the 1 and 2 star, but I tend to go 3 - not bad, 4 very good, 5 brilliant.

I think that people have their own scoring system which is slightly at odds with the guidance provided ..."


Agree with Nick. Not sure what the Amazon and Goodreads standards are/mean.


message 7: by Jacob (new)

Jacob Peled (peled) Jack wrote: "1 star- I've never given a one star rating because when I choose books to read I am already interested in the subject.

2 stars- I've only given one two star rating because a book sucked so bad I c..."


That is exactly why the Star rating is so Unbelievable. Personally It got to the point that a book with an average of 3.3 and less, is being considered by me as a very bad book. A 3.3-3.9 becomes an average kind of book. Only a book with 4 and up is an OK book. You may read it. 4.2 and up is probably a very good book, as long as it correlate with the genre you like.
So I do think , that to make it a reliable and trusted Star system, you must also give a 1 star for a book you couldn't finished, or 2 star when you skip a lot and didn't like it.


message 8: by Nick (new)

Nick Brett | 141 comments Oh I forgot, Dan Brown - automatic two star. And any book that James Patterson gets someone else to write for him but still slaps his name on the cover - automatic one star.


message 9: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments Nick wrote: "Oh I forgot, Dan Brown - automatic two star. And any book that James Patterson gets someone else to write for him but still slaps his name on the cover - automatic one star."

WORD!


message 10: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Nick wrote: "Oh I forgot, Dan Brown - automatic two star. And any book that James Patterson gets someone else to write for him but still slaps his name on the cover - automatic one star."
Heh, good point.


message 11: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Checkman wrote: "A half star option would be welcomed. Often I read books that need that something extra. Especially the ones that are around a two or three but have just a little bit more. For example "American Gu..."
Agreed. There was a thriller which I reviewed called "Power Down". The plot was excellent and the characters were solid but there were so many numerous research errors and one butchered piece of grammar that it didn't deserve five stars but was special enough to deserve much more than a four star ranking.


message 12: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (ameliabaldwin) | 26 comments As usual, I am late to the discussion...

I agree with Checkman that a half star option would be nice. I have been thinking deeply on my own rating system and it's evolved substantially this year as I've conscientiously tried to rate (and review) every book I've read this year (which is >100 and, well, too many to actually review well, so I haven't reviewed them all but I have reviewed the majority).

The TL; DR; version of this post is mine is probably not too different from Nick's as he succinctly describes his above. I rate many books 4 or 3, not so many 5s and very very few 2s or 1.

Mine is currently something like this:

5: This book is awesome. I will read it again in the future, perhaps many times if I live long enough. The characters and plot are well crafted. The writing is great. My level of enjoyment was off the charts. I was fascinatingly informed, or vastly entertained, or made to think in ways I haven't before (or all three). [Example: Several of Christine Kling's books are 5s for me.]

4: This book is good. It has some of the elements of a 5 star read but is seriously lacking in at least one area. Editorial issues and factual errors (as Samuel mentions) can put an otherwise excellent book here. Bigger issues can also put an otherwise excellent book here or a number of smaller issues. A 4 is still a book I may read again in the future and certainly one that I enjoyed. [Example: Amy Lynn by Jack July; many by Tom Clancy end up at 4.]

3: This book is ok. The characters and plot (or story and facts or whatever for non-fiction) are probably ok or even good (but not outstanding). The writing is good enough. I enjoyed it enough but might not ever read it again, unless it's part of a chronological series I want to reread in the future for some reason or on a topic I wish to revisit for educational purposes. [Example: R is for Richochet by Sue Grafton]

2: This book not good. It wasn't so bad that I didn't finish it but it has one or two major issues of some sort or many minor issues. I did get some enjoyment out of it but I will certainly not read this book again. I have only rated a very tiny number of books a 2 and none of them has been fiction, probably. Someone might like this book better than I did, of course, or it might meet a need for someone else.

1: This books is awful. I read it to the end, more because I'm stubborn than because it was enjoyable, but was sorely disappointed and, perhaps, even angry that I wasted my time finishing the book in the hope it would get better. [Example: Enemy Combatant, so far the only 1 rating I recall].

I have not rated books that I don't finish. They either deserve zero stars because they weren't worth finishing or I got distracted and it's not the book's fault I didn't finish (which does happen on occasion) and I might come back to it eventually.

When reading books by the same author with the same set of characters, comparison across a series is inevitable. For example, I love Sue Grafton's novels but they are not all of the same quality. Most of them are 4s, a few of them are definitely 5s and several are 3s, as if she was just getting the job done on that one but wasn't quite inspired or perhaps didn't have the research needed or the plot idea quite sewn up as well as usual.

When considering books to read in the future that I have not otherwise been personally recommended, I look at 4.0 ratings and higher (if there are lots of raters), then at 3.5 and higher, and so forth. But, tastes do vary, and I have read some books with much lower average ratings and enjoyed them, and also have read some highly rated books and thought the raters were way off. Viva la difference.

Perhaps I should rethink the bottom ratings? I don't know.


message 13: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Donoghue | 26 comments I go with
5 -being a must read, collectible to pass to your son.

4- good but not great and descriptions need improving.

3- won't read again but not a complete waste of time. Too many glaring mistakes.

2 and 1 I will put down usually after the first hundred pages.


message 14: by David (last edited Aug 30, 2015 07:34AM) (new)

David | 2 comments Actually, I do believe anyone should have any rating system other than the one that Goodreads describes. How else does one judge all books by other than their system, like it or not. Therefore, a 1 is bad, and all else is ok. up to awesome. If ones' 3 is boring but I like it, how does one relate the two.....it is so bad, that I do not even pay attention to overall ratings anymore. I usually look at 1 or 2 ratings and read a few reviews to get a feel for the worst. Actually better than reading 4's or 5's as too many thing a very poorly written book, with a story just as bad, is a five. How on earth would they rate a really good book....


message 15: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 167 comments I believe that any rating system would be a lot more fair if you added the option of half stars to it. Too often, I see books that deserve more than a 3 but not a 4. As for those who say that a 4 or less marks a bad book, I disagree. For me, a 3 is an average, readable book, while a 4 is a book well worth reading and enjoyable. One pet peeve of mine is the readers who give a 1 or a 2 just because they don't agree with some premise of the book they read because of their religious or political beliefs. If the book is badly written, has flat characters and is boring, fine, give it a 1 or a 2, but don't badmouth an author just because his story doesn't adhere to the canons of your religion/political beliefs. SF/Fantasy and erotica in particular should not be judged according to today's rule of political/religious correctness.


message 16: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments 1 star. I give an Author a few chapters to hook me. If not, one star. As an Author I've never given a 1 star, instead I will not rate it at all.

2 stars. I get halfway through and the book is tough to read and the plot is putting my to sleep and I stop reading. I have never given a two star rating.

3 stars. I finish the book. If I go through the effort of finishing the book it has some value and I will give it a average review. I have given three stars.

4 stars. My most doled out rating. I liked it but I didn't love it. It had good moments and I'm glad I read it.

5 stars. This book will make me cry, laugh out loud, talk to myself, look stuff up on the interwebs or want to read a couple lines out loud to my wife or friends. I think about this book and the characters days after I completed it.


message 17: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments Michel wrote: "I believe that any rating system would be a lot more fair if you added the option of half stars to it. Too often, I see books that deserve more than a 3 but not a 4. As for those who say that a 4..."

Agreed, I would love to see half stars.


message 18: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
What a crying shame. I was about to post a suggestion for half stars on the official goodreads feedback/help group. Seems the official stance of the company is that half stars are not going to be introduced at all. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 19: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Samuel wrote: "What a crying shame. I was about to post a suggestion for half stars on the official goodreads feedback/help group. Seems the official stance of the company is that half stars are not going to be i..."

Their main argument against them is that "it will add too much complexity". Really? I'd say it makes the ratings a bit more honest.


message 20: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Donoghue | 26 comments I agree with Michel's comment up above. And if you haven't already go get his newest book Friends and Foes! Fun read and a book I give a 3.5 on the ratings described my Michel above. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


message 21: by Samuel , Director (last edited Aug 29, 2015 03:23PM) (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Here is the statement (copied and pasted. Check link from previous post to find it) made by the big cheese of goodreads Otis Chandler regarding the half star rating proposals.
A question for the people on this thread. Do you agree or disagree with it?











"Half stars are not happening anytime soon, and a good chance they never will. There are many (good) arguments for and against. But imho, they just add too much complexity."

"By the way, our friends at Netflix agreed":

http://blog.netflix.com/2007/08/todd-...

"here’s what I learned from months of testing this across the country: when we make the ½ star options possible, we get fewer ratings. Significantly fewer ratings. We have argued these results internally for some time, and our best guess is that the complexity of doubling the number of choices from 5 to 10 deters many people from rating, so they just give up. (“3 stars? No, 3 ½ stars.. no… 3 stars… no… oh forget it…”) At Netflix we want people to rate so we can give them a better site experience (better suggestions, better predictions, better use of the pages to showcase movies they’re less likely to have seen)."
- Otis Chandler


message 22: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 167 comments This doesn't sound very convincing to me. Do they take the readers to be all morons?


message 23: by Jack (new)

Jack (jackjuly) | 145 comments Michel wrote: "This doesn't sound very convincing to me. Do they take the readers to be all morons?"

I can answer that...YES.


message 24: by J.B. (new)

J.B. (goodreadscomjbmorrisauthor) Jack wrote: "1 star. I give an Author a few chapters to hook me. If not, one star. As an Author I've never given a 1 star, instead I will not rate it at all.

2 stars. I get halfway through and the book is tou..."


Jack, I like your rating system. Would you mind if I tried it out on a couple of books?


message 25: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Michel wrote: "This doesn't sound very convincing to me. Do they take the readers to be all morons?"

Seems to be the case...


message 26: by Reacherfan (new)

Reacherfan | 32 comments F = 1* or 0*
D = 2*
C = 3*
B = 4*
A = 5*

I split hairs when books have redeeming features but flaws I can't get past. I also put them in context of the genre. I wouldn't compare an action thriller to a cozy or a cozy to science fiction, or true science fiction to Urban Fantasy, or Golden Age mystery to chick lit or mommy porn (more correctly 'Romantica' or 'lady porn') (and yes, there is some decent stuff out there, none of which has the word GRAY in the title.)

When you get an F from me - you're really BAD. I've given very few in my years about blogging about books. Fifty Shades of Grey was one. Ghastly writing and BDSM does nothing for me, so I thought both lead characters were as realistic as anatomically correct inflatable dolls. Janet Evanovich's one excursion into graphic novels was another. Charlaine Harris managed one, a Sookie Stackhouse supposed 'what happened to' wrap up.

A's are equally rare. The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1) by Daniel O'Malley was one. Too bad his second novel was blah.

B's and C's are the most common marks. C means average read, nothing special. B to B+ usually comes with a recommended read for lovers of that genre.

D's are all too common these days as well. I blame editors, line editors, and proofreaders for not doing their jobs. And readers who have grown much too accustomed to messy homonyms (I see 'imminent' where the word 'eminent' belongs one more time, I am going to hunt down who is responsible and sic Victor the assassin on them.) that sloppy writing and plotting and mistakes in continuity are far too easily accepted.

I also have a DNF (did not finish) class for books so awful, I could not even skim them blasted thing. In my blog I always explain why, whether I recommend reading the book, and to whom it might appeal.


message 27: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Reacherfan wrote: "F = 1* or 0*
D = 2*
C = 3*
B = 4*
A = 5*

I split hairs when books have redeeming features but flaws I can't get past. I also put them in context of the genre. I wouldn't compare an action thriller..."


A most meticulous system. I like how you cover multiple bases and criteria with it.


message 28: by J.T. (new)

J.T. Patten (jtpattenbooks) | 70 comments I give only 4 and 5 stars. If I don't like a book, I don't finish it. If I finish a book enthusiastically, I probably loved it. Reading preferences and writing styles are so subjective that if I can't get into a book, maybe it isn't the writer, its me. No need to put a bad mark review on permanent record for an author if it wasn't my taste. I'd never eat a beluga egg, and would probably vomit if I did so. But plenty of people love them. So who am I?

Ironically, just the other day I was interviewing Kyle Mills. We discussed how Vince Flynn never started his book with an action scene. My editor and a couple beta readers tore apart my book saying I needed to start with an action scene because not doing so would put off thriller readers. I didn't want to but did. Wish I hadn't. So either way, mine was going to get a ding if I did or didn't. Most people don't even know Flynn doesn't, and they would probably say you need to start with an action scene. It's subjective.


message 29: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
J.T. wrote: "I give only 4 and 5 stars. If I don't like a book, I don't finish it. If I finish a book enthusiastically, I probably loved it. Reading preferences and writing styles are so subjective that if I ca..."

Interesting perspective. And fundamentally true.


message 30: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
I myself with my reviews dedicate at least one section for "constructive criticism and suggestions". For instance, Ben Coes. I have a love/hate view of his writing. His books are thrilling and very entertaining and I have a fascination with his writing style (What would result if Hemmingway tried to write a post 9/11 thriller novel), but I'm constantly infuriated by the multiple research errors and the times when he blows apart my suspension of disbelief to an unacceptable degree. So Half the review I praise him, and the other half, I heap scorn on the areas where I believe he could have done better.


message 31: by Reacherfan (last edited Oct 23, 2016 05:30PM) (new)

Reacherfan | 32 comments JT said: I give only 4 and 5 stars. If I don't like a book, I don't finish it. If I finish a book enthusiastically, I probably loved it. Reading preferences and writing styles are so subjective that if I can't get into a book, maybe it isn't the writer, its me.

Or as my brother puts it, "Life's too short to bother reading bad books." He and I both read Mitch Rapp, Scot Harvath, and Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries, C.J. Box's Joe Pickett books (though his last one went more with Nate Romanowski, Pickett's loyal friend, and former black ops agent). He also likes Brad Taylor, Alex Berenson, and the Justin Scott/nominal Clive Cussler Issac Bell books, but he reads a lot of non-fiction, especially American History. We both like several Roman mysteries as well, he being a Roman History buff. He is currently reading The Black Count Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss which came recommended from a friend on Paperback Swap.


message 32: by Bodo (new)

Bodo Pfündl | 208 comments J.T. wrote: "I give only 4 and 5 stars. If I don't like a book, I don't finish it. If I finish a book enthusiastically, I probably loved it. Reading preferences and writing styles are so subjective that if I ca..."

Pretty much the same here! Only reviewing 4 and 5 star-reads, for the same reasons as J:T:


message 33: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Would a possible replacement to the star rating system be a percentage ranking out of 100?


message 34: by Samuel , Director (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Samuel wrote: "Would a possible replacement to the star rating system be a percentage ranking out of 100?"

Reason why I got my idea. I noticed that when measuring book progress goodreads has the option of single numbers, fractions and percentages. And I think percentages could be re-purposed for a ranking system like in the Rotten Tomatoes critic site.


message 35: by Reacherfan (new)

Reacherfan | 32 comments I just give something like a C+ (3.3*) for a book. That means it's average but has some unique aspect or element that's above average. 1 to 100 seems too complex. Is a 93 or 94 really different? Are we parsing points so finely that an error in punctuation would matter?


message 36: by Samuel , Director (last edited Oct 24, 2016 09:13PM) (new)

Samuel  | 4691 comments Mod
Reacherfan wrote: "I just give something like a C+ (3.3*) for a book. That means it's average but has some unique aspect or element that's above average. 1 to 100 seems too complex. Is a 93 or 94 really different? Ar..."

It's just a suggestion because goodreads refuses to institute half stars in its ranking. A lot of people in this group would prefer the opportunity to give a more precise rating for the books they read and a percentage ranking might be a good compromise.


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